We at Nashville SEO & Web Content manage dozens of blogs for clients, many on rather low budgets — so we are constantly on the lookout for the very best free WordPress themes we can find. I am investing significant time and effort this evening in the testing of dozens of free WordPress themes collected from various sites over the last few months.
One of the most common problems users encounter when testing new WordPress themes is the missing stylesheet. When this happens, the theme is listed at the bottom of the
Manage Themes page (under
Appearance -- Themes in the WordPress administration backend) in a list of “Broken Themes” with the description, “Stylesheet is missing”.
This issue is explained very well in the knowledgebase of Envato’s support section under “My WordPress Theme isn’t working, what should I do” in the section called “Common ‘Broken Theme’ and ‘Stylesheet Missing’ WordPress Issues”.
Luckily, this issue is almost always due to a very simple circumstance which is easily corrected. In a nutshell, many zips (compressed files & folders) contain an extra directory (folder) layer which often tricks WordPress into believing the style sheet isn’t there, when it really is there. It’s just buried too deeply within the theme folders.
For instance, let us suppose you downloaded a WordPress theme called Brown. The zip file you downloaded is called
brown-ver-1. When you unzip the
brown-ver-1 folder, you see that it contains a folder called
brown. Inside the
brown folder are the actual files comprising the WordPress theme. You must get rid of that extra layer before you upload the theme to WordPress for testing. That is, when you open the final package there should not be an extra directory layer before you see the style.css file and all the other files that make up the applicable WordPress theme.
Correct: brown — style.css
Incorrect: brown-ver-1 — brown — style.css
Exactly how one corrects the issue depends on which method is being used to upload new themes to the WordPress installation on the web server.
The two main methods are:
1. Using WordPress upload process
2. Using an FTP client
I strongly prefer to use an FTP client to move files back and forth between my system and the web server. I cannot imagine taking the extra time to use the built-in WordPress uploading process. The two categories of uploads on which much time can be saved with an FTP client are images and themes.
Results of testing: Will finish this later
These themes look great and work well as soon as they are activated; they require little or no implementation time.
- DailyPost 1.0.5 by wplook
Themes requiring setup
- Business lite 3.1.19 by CyberChimps WordPress Themes
- BizWay 1.5 by InkThemes.com
Themes failing preview
- Yasmin 1.0.0
Resources: Testing WordPress themes: ‘Stylesheet is missing’ error
- Broken Theme – Stylesheet is missing – Error upon initial upload – Bytes for All forum
- Missing Style.css – Theme Forest forums
- My WordPress Theme isn’t working, what should I do? – Envato Support Knowledgebase
- Missing style.css on upload to WP – RT-Themes Support Forum
- How to install a WordPress theme – Urban Giraffe
This post was started on Sunday, September 09, 2012